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We scour the media each week for our favourite four cultural stories, innovations or campaigns across the vibrant sectors that our team promotes, including: books; visual art; architecture and design; museums; performing arts; and universities.

Literature at its peak

An Italian bookshop chain that prides itself on being a cut above its rivals has opened a branch on Mont Blanc, western Europe’s highest mountain, The Times has reported. The Feltrinelli shop is in the Skyway Monte Bianco cable car’s final station on Pointe Helbronner, 3,462m above sea level. Customers will have a panoramic view over the Aosta Valley and the Mont Blanc massic as they peruse the shop’s 376 titles that focus on mountain themes and travel, with a special emphasis on the region’s food, culture and topography. This is one bookshop that the team at Four Culture would all love to visit!

Revamped St Fagans in Wales is 2019 Art Fund museum of the year

Congrats to St Fagan’s National Museum of History, which this week was crowned with one of the most prestigious arts awards in the world, the £100,000 Art Fund Museum of the Year prize. The open-air heritage attraction, which completed a £30m renovation last year, was praised for living, breathing and embodying the culture of Wales by Stephen Deuchar, the director of the Art Fund and the chair of judges. You can read the full story on the Guardian or Artlyst.

Instrument Amnesty

Rhythm and blues legend Jools Holland is getting behind a scheme to get unwanted musical instruments into the hands of the young, as reported by London Evening Standard. This initiative is run by Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation Instrument Amnesty and is calling on people to donate unwanted or unused instruments to the foundation, so that they can go to a young person to help support their music education in the UK or abroad. Instruments can be dropped off at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club on Saturday 20th from 10am to 4pm, more info here. Perhaps it’s time that flute or guitar that’s long been abandoned up in the attic found a new home?

Yoko Ono rings in Manchester International Festival

The Manchester International Festival opened this week with the world premiere of Yoko Ono’s Bells for Peace, as the BBC reported. The month-long creative take-over of the city features a vast programme of the best in UK and international arts, collaboration and curation. Highlights include the world premieres of Tree, created by Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah, Invisible Cities by 59 Productions and Rambert, The Fountainhead Tao of Glass by Philip Glass and Phelim McDermott and an opening night performance by Janelle Monáe. The festival has also transformed Albert Sqaure into Festival Square with great food and drink, free live music, DJs and more every day from noon until late during MIF19. You can check out the full programme on their website here.

Image credits

*Clockwise from top left

The Feltrinelli shop/The Times

St Fagan’s National Museum of History/The Guardian

Ronnie Scott’s Instrument Amnesty/The BBC

Manchester International festival/The BBC